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Dec. 27, 2012, 3:10 a.m. EST

Japan stocks hit post-earthquake high, lead Asia

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By V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Japanese stocks on Thursday rallied to their highest level since the March 2011 earthquake as hopes for a policy stimulus and a weakened yen spurred buyers, while gains in other regional markets were capped amid worries related to the U.S. fiscal cliff.

The Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.39%  climbed 0.9% to 10,322.98, a closing level it hasn’t seen since March 10, 2011, one day before a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated the country.

Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -1.09% rose 0.4% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.33%  added 0.3% as the markets reopened for the first time since Monday.

/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed NIK 23,386.74, -92.41, -0.39%
/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY 111.5800, +0.0230, +0.0206%
Nikkei Average Vs. Dollar-yen
One-month price movements

Taiwan’s Taiex inched up 0.2% and South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -1.49% gained 0.3%, while China’s Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 -0.06% fell 0.6%.

The advance in Tokyo marked a third straight day of gains, and came as the yen stayed close to its lowest level since September 2010 against the U.S. dollar.

“The message from Japan is clear at the moment, the incoming government will do everything in its power to weaken the yen and stimulate the economy,” said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG Markets.

He noted that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has already made comments on setting an inflation target of 2%, maintaining dollar-yen level /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0206%  in the ¥85-¥90 range, and appointing a Bank of Japan Governor whose views were aligned to those of the government.

Also, Japan’s newly-elected government won’t abide by a ceiling on bond issuances when it decides on the size of an upcoming supplementary budget, aimed at providing a stimulus to the ailing economy, Finance Minister Taro Aso said, according to media reports. Read more about Aso’s remarks.

Among the stocks rising, Honda Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite HMC -1.02% /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 -0.07% climbed 1.6% and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. /zigman2/quotes/202404490/delayed JP:7211 -0.25%   /zigman2/quotes/200876874/delayed MMTOF -0.82%  jumped 6.2%, while Panasonic Corp.   /zigman2/quotes/201785256/delayed JP:6752 +0.50%  added 1.4%.

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U.S. to hit debt ceiling on Monday

The Treasury Department says the U.S. is on track to hit the debt ceiling by Monday, setting in motion steps that might buy the government time before it faces a debt crisis.

Toyota Motor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM -0.05%   /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 +1.10%  climbed 2.6%. The rise came even as the Wall Street Journal and other news reports said the auto giant has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit related to a malfunction that caused unintended acceleration. Read more about the settlement.

Among financials, Nomura Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207276383/composite NMR -1.38% /zigman2/quotes/206251373/delayed JP:8604 -0.46%  climbed 4.3% and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204507985/delayed JP:8411 +0.25% /zigman2/quotes/200950467/composite MFG -0.71%  rose 1.3%.

The broad regional gains, meanwhile, came despite extended losses overnight on Wall Street, as shares of retailers were hit after the holiday and as investors focused on the resumption of budget talks. Read U.S. Market Snapshot.

Several mining and metal shares in the region advanced, with Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. /zigman2/quotes/203361399/delayed HK:1818 +3.26%   /zigman2/quotes/200275285/delayed ZHAOF +0.77%  rising 0.8% and Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208051344/composite ACH +1.23%   /zigman2/quotes/202960704/delayed HK:2600 +0.44%  gaining 0.6% in Hong Kong.

In Sydney, Rio Tinto Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -0.46% /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO +0.79%  climbed 0.9% and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202351558/delayed AU:FMG -1.23%  advanced 4.1%.

But on mainland Chinese bourses, the resource and financial sectors declined, paring gains recorded earlier in the week.

Shares of Jiangxi Copper Co. /zigman2/quotes/201334192/delayed CN:600362 +0.13%  slipped 1.2% and Zijin Mining Group Co. /zigman2/quotes/203833875/delayed CN:601899 +2.40%   /zigman2/quotes/209836076/delayed ZIJMF +4.95%  slid 0.8%, while China Minsheng Banking Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203910009/delayed CN:600016 -0.51% /zigman2/quotes/200749234/delayed CMAKY -7.99%  shed 1.4% and China Life Insurance Co. /zigman2/quotes/206573290/composite LFC -0.56% /zigman2/quotes/204766889/delayed CN:601628 +0.66% fell 0.6%. All four stocks are up by at least 1.2% in the week to Thursday’s close.

/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
add Add to watchlist JP:100000018
JP : Nikkei
23,386.74
-92.41 -0.39%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 21, 2020 3:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
27,308.81
-300.35 -1.09%
Volume: 1.77M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:08p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
7,139.00
-23.50 -0.33%
Volume: 1.07M
Feb. 21, 2020 5:17p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,162.84
-32.66 -1.49%
Volume: 635,474
Feb. 21, 2020 3:33p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 15.58
-0.01 -0.06%
Volume: 99.51M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
11.14
Dividend Yield
1.40%
Market Cap
¥302.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥6.12M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
111.5800
+0.0230 +0.0206%
Volume: 0.0000
Feb. 21, 2020 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 27.05
-0.28 -1.02%
Volume: 379,400
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
10.93
Dividend Yield
3.22%
Market Cap
$47.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
$661,808
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 3,039.00
-2.00 -0.07%
Volume: 5.39M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
11.31
Dividend Yield
3.69%
Market Cap
¥5308.87 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥73.06M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202404490/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 404.00
-1.00 -0.25%
Volume: 5.70M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
11.59
Dividend Yield
4.95%
Market Cap
¥601.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥80.91M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200876874/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 3.61
-0.03 -0.82%
Volume: 7,830
Feb. 21, 2020 2:43p
P/E Ratio
11.49
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$5.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
$733,027
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201785256/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,195.00
+6.00 +0.50%
Volume: 6.65M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.67
Dividend Yield
2.51%
Market Cap
¥2787.77 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥29.74M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 139.04
-0.07 -0.05%
Volume: 150,574
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
8.76
Dividend Yield
2.56%
Market Cap
$196.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
$737,463
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 7,837.00
+85.00 +1.10%
Volume: 5.15M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.06
Dividend Yield
2.81%
Market Cap
¥22156.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥81.43M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207276383/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 5.00
-0.07 -1.38%
Volume: 70,252
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
7.16
Dividend Yield
2.90%
Market Cap
$15.46 billion
Rev. per Employee
$597,075
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206251373/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 561.80
-2.60 -0.46%
Volume: 12.08M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
7.43
Dividend Yield
5.34%
Market Cap
¥1736.92 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥65.89M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204507985/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 159.10
+0.40 +0.25%
Volume: 62.52M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
44.57
Dividend Yield
4.71%
Market Cap
¥4036.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥60.82M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200950467/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 2.79
-0.02 -0.71%
Volume: 400,395
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
40.79
Dividend Yield
3.76%
Market Cap
$35.39 billion
Rev. per Employee
$550,876
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203361399/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 9.49
+0.30 +3.26%
Volume: 17.80M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
64.56
Dividend Yield
0.48%
Market Cap
HK$30.56 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$1.31M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200275285/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 1.31
+0.01 +0.77%
Volume: 0.00
Dec. 18, 2019 5:19p
P/E Ratio
70.05
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$3.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
$166,560
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208051344/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 7.39
+0.09 +1.23%
Volume: 39,435
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
325.55
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.17 billion
Rev. per Employee
$387,394
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202960704/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 2.30
+0.01 +0.44%
Volume: 21.75M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
319.44
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
HK$39.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$3.03M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 97.69
-0.45 -0.46%
Volume: 914,264
Feb. 21, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
8.90
Dividend Yield
9.18%
Market Cap
$158.62 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.14M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 54.62
+0.43 +0.79%
Volume: 2.57M
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
6.94
Dividend Yield
6.06%
Market Cap
$68.80 billion
Rev. per Employee
$852,406
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202351558/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 11.20
-0.14 -1.23%
Volume: 14.13M
Feb. 21, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
4.82
Dividend Yield
8.93%
Market Cap
$34.47 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201334192/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 14.91
+0.02 +0.13%
Volume: 36.93M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
20.92
Dividend Yield
1.34%
Market Cap
¥51.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥10.12M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203833875/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 4.70
+0.11 +2.40%
Volume: 368.37M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
28.91
Dividend Yield
2.13%
Market Cap
¥119.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥5.78M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209836076/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.50
+0.02 +4.95%
Volume: 3,930
Feb. 21, 2020 3:41p
P/E Ratio
21.12
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$12.65 billion
Rev. per Employee
$872,997
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203910009/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 5.91
-0.03 -0.51%
Volume: 95.58M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
4.87
Dividend Yield
5.84%
Market Cap
¥258.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥5.19M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200749234/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 6.79
-0.59 -7.99%
Volume: 22.00
Feb. 21, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
38.36
Dividend Yield
6.01%
Market Cap
$58.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
$798,641
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206573290/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 12.34
-0.07 -0.56%
Volume: 317,966
Feb. 21, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
9.70
Dividend Yield
0.68%
Market Cap
$18.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
$970,796
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204766889/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
¥ 32.20
+0.21 +0.66%
Volume: 27.58M
Feb. 21, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
18.49
Dividend Yield
0.50%
Market Cap
¥910.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥6.30M
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Varahabhotla Phani Kumar is a reporter in MarketWatch's Hong Kong bureau. Follow him on Twitter @MktwKumar.

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